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Tristan is a name with medieval roots, but it didn't become popular in the United States until the later part of the 20th century. By 1996, it was even a top 100 baby name. Tristan is largely associated with an Arthurian romance, but it's also a popular celebrity baby name. It pairs well with many middle names, both traditional and modern.

Meaning of the name Tristan:

Welsh: Sadness

Origin of the name Tristan:

Tristan is an English version of the Welsh name Drystan. It was most likely derived from the French word “triste,” which means “sadness.”

Symbolism of the name Tristan:

Tristan may mean “sadness,” but it is more often associated with the Arthurian romance story of “Tristan and Iseult.” While there are many versions of the story, it starts with King Mark of Cornwall sending the knight Tristan to fetch the king's Irish bride, Iseult. Tristan and Iseult drink a potion and fall madly in love with each other instead. The name often symbolizes romance or a failed love connection to many.

Style of the name Tristan:

Traditional

Gender of the name Tristan:

Tristan is a boy's name.

Pronunciation of the name Tristan:

TRIS-tin

Number of syllables in the name Tristan:

Two

Emotion evoked from the name Tristan:

The name Tristan evokes images of someone who is a dreamer and always on the hunt for perfection.

Alternative spellings for the name Tristan:

  • Tristin
  • Tristain
  • Tristen
  • Triston
  • Trystan 
  • Trysten

Nicknames for the name Tristan:

  • Tris
  • Tri
  • Stan

Popularity of the name Tristan:

Tristan first made the list of the top 1,000 baby names in 1971. As of 2020, it ranks at number 183, according to the Social Security Administration.

Related names for the name Tristan:

Great middle names for Tristan and their meanings:

Famous people with the name Tristan:

Tristans in popular culture:

  • Tristan Thorne (character from the movie “Stardust”)
  • Tristan Ludlow (character from the movie “Legends of the Fall”)
  • Tristan Milligan (character from the TV show “Degrassi”)
  • Tristan Duffy (character from the TV show “American Horror Story: Hotel”)
  • Tristan Dugrey (character from the TV show “Gilmore Girls”)